Acrylics Mode

slow multitasking

Acrylics Mode

Acrylics Mode Notes

I turned to acrylics in October of 2018, putting my oils away for a spell. I had my Hot Dog party that month and wanted to clean up the studio for the party. Acrylics are cleaner, easier to use, less expensive, and not smelly. I decided to go along for awhile with acrylics and see what I could do.

Acrylics Mode

Linda’s Graphite Drawings

I’ve had a long love/hate history with acrylics. I’ve been an oil painter since I was 13 years old. I started painting with acrylics at about 40, so I’ve been at the easel with them for 28 years. The first 10 years were a disaster. I hated them so much. I would use them for a month and then put them away. At the time, I tried to use them like oils and it was not pretty, and very frustrating. I didn’t give up. I kept trying on and off. About ten years ago, I spent a whole year learning how to use them. Then I went to using both mediums at two stations in the studio, which worked well.

Acrylics Mode

I found that oddly, using two or more mediums seemed to cross over from one to the other in terms of technique sharing. I added casein to my mediums as well. I learned a lot about glazing and making seamless paintings between mediums. My oils and acrylics look entirely seamless most of the time now. Most people cannot tell the difference between the two when they view my paintings.

Acrylic Mode

Linda’s Etsy Shop

The biggest problem I see for landscape painters is a built in prejudice biased against acrylics and for oils. Back in my days at Paint Outs, painters shunned acrylics and painters who used them. I had spent a good year of studying acrylics before the paint out season. I took acrylics to a paint out, saying nothing to others. When the paintings were turned in, I told others that they were acrylics. They didn’t believe me. I see this silly attitude all the time from landscape painters. I know a woman artist who did beautiful acrylics. She joined one of the hoity toity painting groups and within a year, had switched over to oils. I’m sure she caved into the attitude of the group, as she had been a very successful acrylic painter for many years. Her acrylic work was far superior to her oil work. The abstract community does not seem to have this silly attitude, which I’m happy to note. To me, all mediums are genuine with superior skills. Luckily, I’m one of those stubborn people who don’t let others dictate how I paint and with which medium. They don’t pay my bills, so  I don’t care what they think.

Acrylic Mode

I think I have reached a new level with acrylics this time. I am feeling comfortable with them at last. I am sure I will go back to my lovely oils again at some point. I will wake up one day and decide it is time to bring them out. I will probably go back to using three mediums again. I don’t know when. It will be time to learn new things with my oils.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Sun Dried Tomato Bread

1/2 jar sun dried tomatoes

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup honey

1/2 tsp basil

1 T salt

3 T yeast

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 cup whole wheat flour

5 cups bread flour

2 cups warm water

1 cup half & half

Combine warm water,yeast, honey and let ferment about 5 minutes. Add all ingredients with salt last. use dough hook in mixer or knead by hand until dough is elastic and mixed thoroughly. You may need to add a bit more flour.

Place in greased bowl until dough rises to top. Punch down and knead again. Separate into loaves and place in greased loaf pans. Allow to rise again and gently place in 350 degree oven. Bake until loaves are brown and check bottom to see that it is brown too. Turn out onto cooling racks and let sit until completely cool. Freeze extra loaves.

Abstract Beginnings

abstract beginnings

Abstract Beginnings

Abstract Beginnings Notes

All paintings have abstract beginnings in my view. From the abstract expressionism so popular again now to the very refined of realism, it is all starts with the abstract. Some are starts, which I enjoy and some are block ins that all painters begin with. I’ve been studying this process for a long time. I am a mass painter in that I see objects in large masses of value and shapes. I tend away for linear form except for fine tree limbs and final details of a painting. It is that gradual transition from the abstract to the refinement that separates a lot of styles. That is the intrigue for me. I’ve never really had any interest in being a true abstract painter. I like the natural world too much to abandon it for vague shapes and colors, though I completely respect those who paint that way.

Monthly Painting Offer

Abstract Beginnings

My study method is a beginning in abstract shapes values and colors, moving along in that vein until the end is near. I like to add refinement where I want the attention of the viewer to rest for a moment. My goal is a transition around the painting between abstraction to semi-abstraction and to fine detail where it is warranted. I like clean paint and mud where it is intentional, not by poor brushwork. Perhaps that is why my love affair with alla prima has faded. I don’t like sloppy brushwork whether it is refined or of a loose quality.

Abstract beginnings

It is more of a mindset in the process than any major process changes. In other words, my mental approach to the method is different. I start with the idea of doing a painting, using spare information. Just enough to tell the story and make it viable for my studies. The larger painting is approached in the same way, but varying amounts of detail or refinement are added as needed to produce a finished work. Using this method is making me more accountable for my detail additions. I have to think about what is really necessary, rather than moving forward with detail in an unmeasured way.  I like this process very much. Further study is needed of course, this is just a different method of painting. Shaking up the old dog with some new ideas is always a good idea. I would never want to be a rote or complacent painter. I never want to learn everything. I want the quest for excellence to go on as long as I can hold a brush.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

Abstract beginnings

It is important that painters understand that they may never be a master painter. I never will but it does not deter  or depress me.There will always be painters who can out paint me all day long. I think painters spend too much time thinking about their pecking order or who is better, or who they are better than. The art world has become too much about contests and position. Really! Who cares who is better? No one paints like me and I can live with that. I don’t have to be the best or even good. As long as I have a desire to learn my craft and as long as folks like my work and buy it, I am successful. I am doing what I adore with my life, meeting splendid people who believe in me and my work. I don’t think prestige is all that important. I have a big resume but I haven’t been asked for it in years. Our work is our name. Standing in front of that easel and working at it every day is what counts. As long as I am improving and working hard, I am a success!

These experiments with abstract beginnings are sometimes successful and sometimes not. I have a burn pile on my land a few steps from the studio. Lots of canvases go on it as I progress through various experiments and techniques. Some turn out good, luckily. There is a lot about our world that is from abstract to refined, and all in between. I’ll keep working at it.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Salsa

2 large avocado s, chopped
1-1/2 cups cooked fresh corn kernel s
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion s
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup  Italian Dressing
Combine gently and serve with chips

Good Summer

orange

Good Summer Notes

I’m having a good summer this year. That is a bit unusual. I usually feel like summer is an endurance race. Last year was horrid, with terrible allergy problems, hives, and all manor of indignities like face swellings. I was broke as usual each summer. It lingered on endlessly.

Linda’s Summer Ebay Paintings

This year has been good. Spring lasted well into May and summer arrived as it should have in mid June. I have stayed indoors most of the time, so no allergy problems as yet.

Thanks to my friend Ron, the general manager at the local Michaels store, I have been lent the classroom there to teach now. I move my monthly classes there on Tuesday. This will be easier for my students and will free my Country Studio for my own use.

Abstract Scapes

I’ve been setting it up with all my easels out and ready to use. I have a station for acrylic/casein, and two easels for oils. I will only have to rearrange for my four parties each year. I moved all of my framing tools out into the studio and I have a drying station for small oil paintings with a fan on them 24/7.  At last, I am totally set up with efficiency in my studio. Now, if I could only clone myself I would get everything done.

This summer has even been good financially. People have actually bought art. That is almost unheard of for summer in my world. Shocking! I will actually make it through the summer without fear if this continues.

My precious new French bulldog puppy, Tucker (AKA Studio Dog) is a joy for me. He is beginning to grow up now, not quite as intense. He has a wonderful, sweet personality and is well on his way to becoming a fine adult in a few months. It was very hard to lose my dear Henry, and not a day goes by without missing him, but Tucker is the new joy in my life.

I have learned in my dotage to be entirely grateful for the life I now lead. After a stressful difficult life as a single mother, juggling a variety of jobs and doing art late into the night, I now have almost complete freedom to run my own career. I have a dream studio, a quiet life in the country with my nature trail, and lovely canvases to paint as I like. I am just about the luckiest artist I know. I could not do it without the lovely friends and collectors who continue to support my career. A deep and grateful salute to you all.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Tomato Salad

2 tablespoons fresh basil, coarsely chopped
2 pints grape tomatoes
1/2 cup whole Kalamata olives
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

  1. Chop basil (leaves only); halve tomatoes (if desired). Place in salad bowl: basil, tomatoes, olives, and cheese.
  2. Pour in oil, salt, and pepper; toss to coat. Marinate at least 10 minutes before serving.

Rotate Work

why-bother

Rotate Work Notes

I emphasize to any artist in a retail studio or gallery that to rotate work is key to sales. I never leave paintings up for more than a few months, unless they are the giants 40×60 for example. Those take from 2-4 years to sell for me, due to size and price point. It takes the buyer who has disposable income and large walls for those paintings, which means a long time in most cases. For anything 20×24 or smaller, I rotate frequently. Since I show in a few galleries and have two studios, it is fairly easy to have enough space for a large body of work. If you don’t have a large body of work, get in the habit of moving the paintings around the space frequently. A painting looks new in a new space. Rotate the paintings around your studio from room to room or wall to wall frequently, especially if you use your studio as a storefront to actually sell work.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

Rotate work through your selection of frames too. Last week I changed our two paintings the same size into each other’s frames. They look completely new. I offer quite a variety of frames for my work. Back years ago, I tried to use a single, signature frame for my paintings, but my collectors didn’t like that idea. They like looking at a variety of choices. Sometimes they will come to the studio ask for a painting to be changed out of one frame to another, so it is important to offer them variety. Be sure to have basic hardware and tools to change out paintings into other frames easily.

Landscape Paintings

In years past, all galleries loved metallic frames, silver and gold. Happily, that is no longer the case in many galleries. I have gone to more rustic, distressed frames for many of my paintings, which seems to fit a more casual lifestyle for many collectors. It is important that collectors understand that it is the painting they are purchasing. The frame is usually ready made and not expensive for many artists. I keep a few high end frames for exhibition, but most are not. Frames get easily damaged and nicked when they are moved a lot and transported to various galleries and exhibits.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Easy Meatloaf

1 pound ground round

1 egg

2/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

1 package of Lipton onion soup mix

pinch of thyme/parsley/black pepper

1/4 cup ketchup

Mix it all up and shape into a loaf pan. Bake at 350 until almost done. Top with a mixture of ketchup and steak sauce. Bake another 5 minutes.

 

Transitions Career

transitions

Transitions in Career Notes

Sometimes I think back in my career and wonder why I didn’t make transitions sooner. I have found though, that transitions happen when they are supposed to. Perhaps we haven’t the skill set needed yet for some changes. Perhaps we don’t have the resources financially or the relationships yet to make the proper transitions. I think we have the light bulb go off  when we either have to make changes or want to badly enough.

Marketing Can Be Fun

My big transition for this stage of career is redoing my Country Studio. I am investing in my future and slowly giving up my dependence on other galleries to sell my work. It will take a bit of time, but after 40 years of depending on the whim of dealers, it’s time to sell my own work. Who understands it and my mission more than I do?  What better place to spend most of my time than my own beloved studio and on Deer Woods Trail?

My friends, the Junk Yard Girls made the new signs for my Country Studio. They are so cute. What an improvement! I used to have a big ugly plastic sandwich board sign that I drug out to the front gate for parties. Now I have a beautiful, free standing permanent sign installed in front of my gate. It is very easy to see. They made one for the front of the studio building too.

I’ve been doing tiny Fairy House paintings on wood to install along Deer Woods Trail to entertain my trail walking visitors as they stroll along. The trail has been extended twice, and is lovely to stroll. I enjoy a walk there from September-May each year.

I believe my big transition will be successful, but it will take hard work and true effort to get visitors coming out to a rural studio. It will mean more effort toward online sales and better management of my online venues. I may or may not need to hire someone who is more skilled in e-commerce. I will eventually be able to build my collectors club with better pricing advantages for members. Most people don’t realize that artists have to pay steep commissions to art dealers. Sometimes up to 50-60% of a sale. Being self-represented allows me to make adjustments for my regular collectors through the club, giving them a good reason to make the drive out to my Country Studio.

Whatever your situation, transitions to your career can be very positive. If you are able to use creative ideas, you can overcome difficulties, improving your situation. You may not see solutions right away. It may take some time to get good ideas. You must believe that you will, to succeed. It took me about 7 years to see my solutions.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…….

Today’s Recipe

Corn Dip

1 (15.25-oz) can Southwest corn, drained
1 (14.75-oz) can no-salt-added cream-style corn
1 (4-oz) can diced green chiles
1 (1.2-oz) package extra spicy guacamole seasoning
12 oz processed cheese product
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
Pretzels or chips, optional for serving

  1. Drain corn. Place all ingredients in microwave-safe bowl (except cheese and cilantro); whisk until blended. Cut cheese into small chunks; stir into corn mixture.
  2. Cover and microwave on HIGH 2 for minutes; stir, then heat 2–3 more minutes or until hot and cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes to cool.
  3. Chop cilantro; stir into dip. Serve with pretzels or chips.

 

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